After recently discovering the art of Skinner, he has quickly become one of my favorite artists. His work is a psychedelic pop art vision of a heavy metal rendition of all of the great fantasy properties. From his successful Blood Wizard skateboard company to his gallery showings worldwide, to his forthcoming art book, skinner is really making a name for himself with his uniquely stylish and kickass art. Skinner was kind enough to answer a few questions from Nerd City.
Full interview after the jump!
Your style is incredibly unique, yet consistent throughout all of your work. Did it develop that way over time, or was there an intentional look from the beginning?
Actually it took me years to figure out what I wanted to do as far as style was concerned… blendy and realistic? Or super detailed and flat? Or a mix of both?… it gets confusing… but I just try to stay with my roots… old D&D illustrations… comics art… Charles Burns… fantasy novels and H.P. Lovecraft themed mind fuckery… as well as an experience in Psychedelic color usage and mind journeying… I don’t know if any of it makes sense… I also think I may just be beginning… my goals of discovery are lofty…
I love the fact that, in your work, I can see modern pop art going “toe to toe” with great fantasy properties like Dungeons and Dragons and He-Man. What would you say your influences are and how do you feel they show up in your art?
Well any kid who had the chance to grow up in the 80″s knows that it was a cool time to be a kid… and you can see now that those kids grew up into adults who are now having to suffer through the interpretations of childhood gascinations.. al’a GI Joe and Transformers… and yeah the Dolph Lundgren He-Man… I would say that the art of the 80′s childhood cartoon world had an influence on me but it was more just being poor in a weird pseudo Nuclear world… where fear and happy meals reigned supreme…
What music are you listening to? Does it influence your art at all?
I listen to a lot of heavy music…High On Fire, Melvins, Big Business, 3 Inches of Blood… Queen… Led Zeppelin… Electric Wizard… and Ghost Face Killah… I don’t know if it influences my art too much but it sure as hell doesn’t discourage it!
Especially as of late, there seems to be a lot of character portraits in your work. Are all of these characters connected by any sort of storyline?
I guess the characters are all apart of the Unrealm… the Unrealm is like the real world only more honest…it does not pretend that it is not a world of oppression and destruction, poverty and mental Illness…or that of bravery in the face of overwhelming and undeniable doom…its where things are natural…not ethical…where the hero does not win…but that is because the personal alignment of Gods does not dictate right and wrong…it is a place of discovery…where you do what is right for you because you feel it is what must be not because it is dictated by a social conditioning or deity.
Along the same lines, so many of those dudes are begging to be made into toys. Have you ever entertained that idea?
I think I’m going to do a little mini with Super 7, but i would like to do a whole series…kind of like some action figures along the lines of He-Man on an LSD/ PCP bender but tall as thunder cats…with bad guys and giant monster minions and all that but i don’t know if any body is wanting to throw money at that… but who knows? nostalgia sells… and if they were made right it could be legendary.
What does the future hold for the art of Skinner?
The future?? Well, I have a big show opening in Berlin this weekend…a show at double punch gallery as well this Saturday after opening night of the alternative press expo in San Francisco…the skate board company i do… Blood Wizard is doin’ real good… I’m finishing up a really intense comic book that my buddy Tim is putting out… Working on bigger more epic pieces… Alex Pardee is going to put my book out … I don’t know… maybe get some more rabbits… play more guitar …work harder.
Stay tuned to Nerd City for all of the latest on Skinner’s work. I’ll try to keep you up to date!
For more info on Skinner, check out his official site here.
For more info on Blood Wizard Skateboards, go here.
To pick up some super rad Skinner-designed shirts from Mondo, go here.